Our mailman's great. He knows all his customers by name and even greets us in the street if we happen to be walking when he drives past. He knows which parcels will fit in the box and which require personal delivery. And he even always had a good word for the dog when we still had a dog. (In fact, one of our mailmen even had a biscuit for the dog, resulting in our dog's conviction that all mailpersons were best friends.)
Since I like books, our mailman often has book parcels for me. Sometimes they're surprises, like the gift of a hot-off-the-press hardback edition of "Once Wicked, Always Dead" by T. Marie Benchley which arrived yesterday. I reviewed a paperback ARC of Once Wicked Always Dead on gather a while ago, and it's wonderful to be able to share her delight in the finished product. Congratulations T. Marie!
Other surprise parcels contain pre-release copies of books from the Permanent Press. My most recent review for them is of The Dissemblers by Liza Campbell--a powerful literary ride that brings New Mexico and modern art to life, and just might change the way you see both . Unfortunately Amazon doesn't let me post reviews till the book is published, so I still need to transfer my review of the Dissemblers on gather onto Amazon.
Then there are the half-expected parcels, when I win books in contests on other people's blogs. I always love these, and try to review everything as soon as I can read it. (I've just joined Lunch.com and I suspect their similarity network software may be struggling to identify me through the maze of different reading genres, though it's certainly fun.)
And then there are parcels like the one containing Beat, by Stephen Jay Schwartz. This one came because of an email inviting me to join the blog tour for the book, the sender of the email rightly guessing that I might enjoy the book. And again, I've just posted my review of Beat on gather.
Our mailman's great. He know our little world like the back of his hand. But with books like Beat I can learn a little about some other worlds too; not worlds I want to live in, but worlds that are full of fascination, and peopled with wounded characters striving to beat their own demons. Even in his darkest moments, Detective Hayden Glass still seems redeemable and still merits the reader's sympathy. Michael Connelly described Schwartz's book as a "great original take" on detective fiction and he's right. Stephen Jay Schwartz is deservedly a Los Angeles Times Bestselling Author, and Beat is a deep dark ride into San Francisco's underworld leading to a haunted promise of hope and a future. Highly recommended.